One million CD protest for AOL

Two Californian campaigners plan to collect one million promotional CDs from internet company AOL and dump them on the company’s doorstep as a protest against the firm’s marketing programme.

IT consultants, John Lieberman and Jim McKenna have become concerned at the number of promotional disks that they – and other people – were receiving from the world’s largest online community, much of which they believe ends up being thrown away.

The disks are sent to prospective clients in the post, handed out in the street, and put inside newspapers and magazines. For Lieberman the last straw came when he was given one with a rented movie, only to find when he returned home to watch the movie that he had received another in the post. “This was born out of a sense of exasperation,” Lieberman told edie.

Lieberman estimates that their target one million CDs will weigh 34,000 pounds (over 15 tonnes) – much of which is likely to have been disposed of to landfill otherwise. On top of this, the packaging for the disks weighs twice as much, he says, resulting in a total weight of over 46 tonnes.

However, AOL does run a disk recycling scheme, says Lieberman, but a spokesman from the company was unavailable for comment.

Lieberman and McKenna began collecting in August 2001, and although the campaign was slow at first, they now have supporters in the UK, Germany, France, and Australia, and have amassed over 83,000 disks. It is also thought that supporters in Brazil and Switzerland will start to collect CDs.

One supporter has even sent in more than 15,000 disks.

Currently, the disks are being stored in Lieberman’s garage, but when they hit the one million target, they intend to hire a fleet of trucks and dump the disks in broad daylight outside the company’s main entrance. “We like to think we’re building the world’s biggest and ugliest petition,” said Lieberman.

However, he is keen to point out that he has nothing against the company, and wishes them well.

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